Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm Proud of My Eagle Scout

[this is the longest poem I've written in a long time. Any feedback would be appreciated.]

4th of July
rolls of the tongue

People tell me
the country
is all sorts of messed up.

I think they’re mostly right
but I don’t tell them.
I think it would
go to their heads

It’s the 4th of July
in Northern California
and it’s barely 70 degrees.
People are bitching.
I don’t mind,
I have a sweatshirt.

The 4th of July,
and I don’t have plans.
Nathan and I
just watched the Hangover
and now we’re sitting
outside a downtown café.
It’s quieter out here than inside,
even with the SUVs and motorcycles.

Nathan forgot to bring a book.
I offer the Bible in my backseat
and toss him the keys.

As he crosses the street,
I yell “the driver-side-back-door
doesn’t work
and the passenger-side-front-door
doesn’t unlock from the outside.”

It’s my cars 17th 4th of July.
She’s getting quirkier.
The driver-side-back-door
is a new quirk:
a result of me
trying to fix it.
Things generally get worse
when I try and fix them.

The 4th of July
and this town is quiet.
We don’t have quiet holidays.
The somber ones turn into excuses
to drink beer and grill meat.
I imagine that is what 9/11
will turn into.
I’m proud to be an American,
but even I know
our screw-ups
like our virtues are
loud. Or at least
they are today.

The 4th of July.
I wonder if they’re countries
that celebrate nation-hood
with a moment of silence
or candles or flowers.
It’d probably be a pussy-ass country—
sometimes I wish I lived in a pussy-ass country
but if I did
I know I’d miss the fireworks.

It’s the 4th of July.
I suppose things are pretty not-right
with my loud country.

But it’s the 4th of July,
and the girl awkwardly parallel-parking her suburban
behind my Corolla
is pretty damn cute;
and so is my Corolla.
The girl may even be beautiful,
despite the funny faces she makes
bumping in between the curb and my car.

It’s my car’s 17th 4th of July
and I’ll love her
even if I have to climb
through my trunk
to get in.
After all,
she is my car,
and the bumper sticker on the back
says she’s proud of me.

1 comment:

graham said...

this is really good. I'd have to read it a few more times to pick what to change. but yeah, dude. solid.